The Department of Homeland Security is moving ahead with its plan to change how it evaluates and pays employees, even as it tries to fend off unions in court.
The pay changes and the court case are separate issues, but the union litigation has altered the department’s timetable and injected some uncertainty into how far Homeland Security can go in changing some key workplace rules….
In keeping with a 2002 law, Homeland Security is designing a pay system that will provide employees with raises more closely tied to their occupations and geographic location. The best workers will also receive higher raises that reflect their job performance. Employees who are deemed unsatisfactory will be at risk of not getting a raise.
The new pay system, when in place, will cover as many as 85,000 civil service employees, with a substantial number in jobs related to law enforcement. One goal of the new system is to more rigorously link annual pay raises to job performance ratings.
The initial rollout will involve 18,000 to 20,000 employees who are not covered by union contracts. Under the plan, managers, supervisors and nonunion employees will move to a new pay system, featuring broad salary scales based on occupations, next January.
In the second phase, 60,000 to 65,000 employees, including most employees covered by union contracts, will convert to the new pay system in January 2008.
The author of the article, Stephen Barr, is having an online Q&A today at noon EST to discuss the article and the performance-based pay system.